Thursday, June 03, 2010

under a linden tree - a new park for Youngstown's Smoky Hollow neighborhood

Underneath the canopy of a beautiful old linden tree, a community came together today to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new park in the city of Youngstown.

Harrison Commons will be the social and nature-based center of the redesign of the Smoky Hollow neighborhood.

While the overall push to develop the surrounding property into many mixed-use properties has been slower-going because of the nationwide recession, stakeholders are moving forward in the short term with infrastructure and design improvements.

With the recent University Courtyard Apartments in the background...

...along with the metal sculptural gates at YSU's Bliss Hall...

...this new park will have some interesting design components as well.

For example, built in stone spread out on the ground at the entrance to the Park will be a replication of the Smoky Hollow neighborhood as it existed in the early 20th century.

Using old Sanborn fire insurance maps for the 1920s and 1940s, the following map was created:

Interestingly, the neighborhood contained a number of public bread ovens back in the day.

Maybe that would be a fantastic addition to existing neighborhoods in the near future? (go see our friends in Braddock PA to see how it's done)

With shovels in hand,

the space along North Walnut street is seeing new life.

Mmore information on the neighborhood plan is available at Wick Neighbors.


Debra Weaver said...

I'm confused. I thought that several years ago the Wick Neighbors were given funds to develop infrastructure for a mixed use housing development. I thought that recently they were given NSP funds. For all of the years that Wick Neighbors has been in existence, we get what? Another park! We have parks in the city have been closed down for lack of funds to maintain them. Not to mention we have a need for Wick Park Revitalization. I'm confused. Someone please explain this to me. In my opinion this decision regarding another park is right up there with turning the Wick Pollack into a house for the new president when we have numerous homes on Fifth Avenue for sale, and several huge houses on Wick Park that I'm sure could be renovated for less than 4 mil. What we really needed was a hotel. In my opinion it is decisions such as this that keep Youngstown struggling. I'm frustrated and getting angrier by the day.

Debra Weaver said...

Also, when was that video of Margaret made? My gut tells me that the park is a way to do something - anything - but what they set out to do. By creating a park there, they will diminish the use of Wick Park by the new residents moving in on Madison, creating yet again more class divide, and stalling development of the Wick Park area. Please tell me I'm wrong. I so want to be wrong about this. Just seems to me to be a continuation of the problems outlined in "Why the Garden Club Couldn't Save Youngstown".